This past Tuesday was Valentine’s Day. That night, my boyfriend and I sat in my apartment doing homework — we had already celebrated by cooking breakfast for dinner the Friday night before, when we had more time. A few hours into Tuesday evening, my boyfriend’s mom texted him asking if he had gotten me chocolates or flowers for Valentine’s Day. He felt a bit awkward telling her he hadn’t gotten me anything, even though that’s what we agreed.
That brought up a discussion about holidays. He said he had thought about getting me some flowers, because he knows I like them. But, he said, I hadn’t seemed like I wanted anything this year. And he’s right — I didn’t.
We’ve been dating for a little over three years. The very first Valentine’s we spent as a couple was about a month into our relationship. He did get me flowers and chocolates then, and I loved it — it was the first time I had ever had a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day, and it was so fun to feel special and loved. I dried a few petals from that bouquet, and they’re now in a frame on my bedroom wall. But the reason those flowers were so special were not because they were for V-Day, necessarily; it was because it was a first for both of us. It was a milestone.
Those are the things I’d rather celebrate, I told him that night. V-Day is nice and all, but I’d rather celebrate an interview, or a job offer, or a milestone in our relationship than I would a holiday that people celebrate just because it happens every year. Holidays can be nice, of course. But to me, they feel a little obligatory. Plus, practically speaking, it’s cheaper to celebrate things in the off-season — have you ever noticed how much flower prices go up during holidays? It’s insane. I would rather my boyfriend save the money, and if he wants to give me flowers, give them on a random Tuesday just because he’s thinking of me. He wholeheartedly agreed.
There’s a lot to be said for holidays, of course — they remind us to slow down and appreciate the things we have, and there is often lots of historical significance behind them. But we’ll save the fight for a table at Olive Garden for the (hopefully-soon) moments that we get job offers.
I will get my flower fix this spring, though — we decided that in a few weeks, when home improvement stores start stocking spring flowers, we’ll go get me some perennials to replace my begonias that died last year. That’ll last a lot longer than a Valentine’s bouquet.